Demand and career prospects for data analysts remains high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports data science as one of its fastest growing jobs, with 31.4% growth by 2030. Organizations looking to attract and retain data analysts aren’t just looking for professionals who know how to crunch numbers (although that’s clearly a job requirement) – they’re also looking to onboard professionals with a diversity of experiences who can take that data and transition it it into research and application.
Data analysts at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) conduct a diverse range of jobs in support of CISA’s mission to protect cyber assets and critical infrastructure. And CISA is looking for professionals with diverse skillsets, backgrounds and experiences who can apply data to solving problems.
“The one thing that binds all of us is the data, said Alethea Duhon, National Risk Management Center associate director. “The data doesn’t lie. It’s how you interpret the data and how you design it; how you extract it, and how you analyze it at the end of the day.”
Duhon notes that CISA analysts often don’t start with a data – they start with a problem, and then use cutting-edge data application tools and collective teams of bright minds to apply data toward a solution.
“Data analysts don’t just work in the cybersecurity realm, but operate across the CISA ecosystem,” said Reis Thomas, NRMC deputy section chief, CISA. “My brain is all about data analysis, data analytics, methodology – that is my wheelhouse.”
Professionals often highlight that given today’s technological solutions, it’s typically not the lack of data that’s the problem – but understanding it. And because frequently there is more than one method to analyzing or presenting the data gathered, it’s important for diverse teams to work together in analyzing.
“We make large datasets useful and meaningful by presenting key information in a variety of ways,” said Duhon.
Job titles within the data analyst umbrella at CISA include:
- Data Architect
- Data Engineer
- Data Modeler
- Data Custodian
- Data Manager
- Data Warehouse Specialist
- Information Dissemination Manager
- Data/Database Security Analyst
- Data Security Officer
- Data Scientist
- Operations Research Analyst
- Business Intelligence Analyst
Diversity in Data Analysis
“From an analysis point of view, diversity is key, because each individual performs analysis in their own way,” said Thomas. “How we think about the products we produce as an agency is contingent upon our beliefs and the knowledge we posses, which is based on background and experience.”
Amount and scale often apply in data analysis, as well as defining problems and projecting solutions. The process often seems similar to what’s required to build successful teams.
“You can’t possibly get the full picture with a limited data set,” said Thomas. “The same goes for a diversified workplace. It opens the door for more comprehensive analysis.”
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